How to Become an Ordained Minister
If you are a spiritual leader, or looking to become one, you may be feeling the desire to become an ordained minister. If so, what is your next step? The truth is that there are as many paths for becoming ordained as there are religious organizations. You just need to find the path that’s right for you.
What is an Ordained Minister?
By definition, an ordained minister is a person who is authorized by a church or religious organization to provide spiritual guidance. This includes sharing spiritual teachings; performing services such as weddings, baptisms and funerals; providing spiritual guidance and healing, and reaching out to your community in a variety of ways.
Religious freedom is a beautiful thing. Every religious organization in the United States establishes its own requirements for ordination. With the division of church and state in the US, ordination does not require any kind of governmental authorization or licensing. Each religious organization creates its own guidelines for ordaining its spiritual leaders.
How Do You Find the Right Organization?
First you have to have a clear sense of what you want. Consider these questions:
- Are you interested in an ordination program that demonstrates the value of your expertise or are you just seeking a certificate to hang on your wall?
- Do you want to complete your studies through online and home study or by attending live classes?
- Are you seeking an organization with a specific faith or interfaith approach?
- Are you interested in following a fixed doctrine or would you prefer a more open format that allows you to share spiritual truth as you understand it?
These are all personal choices. From our perspective, the most important thing is to follow your heart, so you feel that your ordination is a valid representation of your value and your beliefs.
When we faced this question in 1996, we knew that we could just send a few dollars and receive a certificate of ordination. But this didn’t feel right. While this path may feel appropriate for some people, we felt that a certificate by itself would devalue the expertise and commitment we wanted to demonstrate in our ministry.
We came into the process with many years of experience as spiritual teachers and holistic healers. We had thousands of hours of training and experience, so we weren’t looking for a doctrine to follow or training in a specific faith. Our chosen path was one that acknowledged our spiritual accomplishments and provided specific tools for use in our ministry.
Ordination and the act of becoming ministers was a major shift for us, one that was more meaningful than we ever imagined back in 1996. The role fit us perfectly. Everything fell into place for us as ministers. We wanted other dedicated people to have this opportunity, too, and we now offer ordination through Awakenings Institute, which we founded and co-direct.
Awakenings Institute offers a non-denominational ordination program oriented toward providing an opportunity for spiritual teachers and holistic healers who, like us, seek a program that will allow them to share their spiritual gifts with freedom and integrity.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Awakenings’ Ordination Program.